Bridget's arms were flung impulsively round her governess's neck, and then one hand was tucked within the good lady's arm."Oh, what a wicked girl you are," said Mrs. Freeman, roused out of her customary gentle manner by the sight of Evelyn's motionless form. "I can't speak to you at this moment, Bridget O'Hara; go away, leave Evelyn to me. Evelyn, my darling, look at me, speak to me—say you are not hurt!"
"Bridget, my dear, before you come into the schoolroom I must request that you go upstairs and change your dress."
"Yes, you ought. I'm going to give you a lovely description. Papa has had his dinner, and he's pacing up and down on the walk which hangs over the lake. He is smoking a meerschaum pipe, and the dogs are with him."In about ten minutes' time Bridget came into the room without knocking. Her hat was still swinging on her arm; there was a wild-rose color on her cheeks; her eyes had a certain excited, untamed gleam in them.
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"I loathe ladylike ways."
[Pg 56]Janet sprang from her seat with apparent alacrity.
"O Janey," exclaimed two of the other girls in a breath, "a committee does sound so absurdly formal."
"We are not by ourselves when we are together," replied Bridget. "Come along, girls, don't be such little despicable cowards! I'll square it with Mrs.[Pg 44] Freeman. You trust me. Mrs. Freeman will forgive us everything when the queen is coming back. Now, do let's be quick, we haven't a minute to lose!"
The Fair was the great event to which the girls looked forward, and in the first excitement of such an unusual proceeding each of them worked with a will.